Most aspects of our lives have become digital. We store so much information on our computers, smartphones and online. But have you ever wondered what the effect is of your digital habits on the environment?

Did you know that every old email stored in your inbox is using up energy? This incredible quantity of data requires huge server locations. These servers consume massive amounts of energy, 24 hours a day, and require countless litres of water or air conditioning systems, for cooling. The more messages we send, receive and store, the more carbon emissions we are responsible for and, the higher our digital footprint is.

But the problem doesn't stop with emails. Every time you perform simple daily actions like browsing a website, using an app on your phone, or saving a file to your cloud drive or Google search, data gets transferred between your device and the server that the website, app or software is hosted on.

The main problem is that because, we don't see digital waste, we don't feel it. How quickly would you subscribe to all those newsletters if they physically came through your mailbox every month, every week or even every day?

Your digital behaviour has a huge impact on the environment, and that's why the Brunel Foundation wants to inspire you to take action. What can you do to tackle the growing mountain of digital waste?

The list below provides some simple ways to clean up your digital life:

  • Deactivate accounts (shops and social media)
    Delete emails, photo’s, screen shots, old files, duplicated files on different places/drives, etc.
    Delete e-books you've finished
    Delete downloaded films or video’s you've watched
    Streaming videos in standard quality instead of HD
    Delete playlists you don’t listen
    Delete apps you don’t use frequently
    Unsubscribe newsletters
    Less active on the internet

Each of the actions listed above don’t take much of your time, but they have a hugely positive impact on the environment if we all work together. Not only do these actions lower your digital footprint, but they also help you to get more organized, give you a better overview, and improves the lifetime of your devices. Just like you would clean up your house if you saw it was messy, cleaning up your digital space makes it easier to find things and gets rid of all the stuff you no longer need.

Let’s strive for a better planet and future for this generation and the next ones through digitally cleaning up, together!

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